On Saturday, my red card from the Wobblies finally arrived in the mail. The postman brought the membership package (appropriately enough) while I was listening to the Illinois-World Labor Hour on WEFT Radio. Both emotionally and intellectually, the experience was akin to what we Catholics call the Communion of the Saints.
As a new member, I’m doing my best to learn as much as I can about the history, philosophy, strategy and tactics of the organization. Although becoming better informed and personally more conscious is my primary aim at this point, it strikes me that the act of organizing within my own local community will be the eventual test of my commitment, and the actual point of my having become a Wobbly. I must admit that the prospect frightens me a bit, as the process is utterly foreign to me.
Fortunately, the IWW offers lots of resources and training to help new members learn the ropes. Everyone with whom I’ve had any contact so far has been extremely patient, friendly and helpful.
Perhaps one day my Fellow Workers and I will achieve the dream of “building a new society in the shell of the old.” In the meantime you’ll find me taking baby steps in the right direction, with red card in hand.